Calgary Herald

Puzzling U.S. terror alerts to be simplified


Farewell “yellow” terror alerts. “Green” and “blue,” we barely knew you.

Americans who have been puzzled for years about whether there was any meaningful difference between the country’s “red,” “orange” or “yellow” terror alerts will no longer need to try decipherin­g the system.

At the end of April, the confusing rainbow colourcode­d chart that has ranked the threat of attack on U.S. territory will disappear.

U.S. Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano announced Thursday the outdated system was being replaced with a more straightfo­rward way of alerting the public to either an “imminent” or “elevated” threat of attack.

The new National Terrorism Advisory System of the U.S. government will de- liver a “concise summary” that outlines the nature of the threat and actions being taken by police and government officials.

“When we have informatio­n about a specific, credible threat, we will issue a formal alert providing as much informatio­n as we can,” Napolitano said in a “state of Homeland Security” address at George Washington University.

The alerts “will be specific to the threat,” will have a specific end date and will contain suggestion­s on how people can detect suspicious behaviour and protect themselves.

The existing colourcode­d system, which had been under review since last year, has been a source of frustratio­n for years among ordinary Americans who complained it gave them little informatio­n on the nature of the threat or what to do about it.

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